Richland County looks to avoid 2012 voter headache remake

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Samuel Selph, the interim director of the Richland County Elections Commission, says plenty of mistakes were made in 2012 and 2013 when it comes to voting in Richland County, and he says we can't afford to make the same mistakes in the June 2014 primary less than 30 days away.

That's why the Richland County Election Commission has made big changes by adding 25 more precincts, including one at the southeast branch of the Richland County Library.

The 25 extra precincts keep the number of voters at each polling place lower. In a statement, Selph says now there are only two precincts in Richland County with more than 3,000 voters.

The Election Commission has 59 more voting machines installed throughout the county to keep problems like extreme wait times -- like what happened in 2012 -- from happening again.

The additional precincts also means your polling place may not have changed locations, but it has a different name.

The other big change is a big simpler. Selph says new cubbyholes can actually prevent confusion in the vote counting process. Once each precinct has closed, the electronic ballot cartridges are checked in at the elections office and the equipment for each precinct is stored in its respective cubbyhole.

Selph says the idea is a visual indicator of what data is in and what data hasn't been registered yet. It's low tech, but Selph says it eliminates the hassle of tracking down each precinct.

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